Granny Square Afghan

My sister is still in the hospital, but is now working with physical therapists to learn to walk, use utensils, swallow, get dressed, open toothpaste, etc. Just recently she has become “herself” again and is making lots of progress. She is now able to eat real food and hopefully will have the feeding tube out soon. She is still dependent upon supplemental oxygen. 

Early on, when we realized that this was going to be a long term illness, we had the idea to make her an afghan. We put a call out for granny squares and soon packages started arriving at my home filled with all different colored grannys. Some people who couldn’t crochet asked others to make a square for them. They were all beautiful!

I had a surgery in mid May and was off work for 6 weeks so had time to start assembling the afghan. I looked up joining and finishing instructions online and got to work. It was challenging because they were all slightly different sizes and different types of yarn.  I ended up adding an extra row of white to each square, which helped them become more uniform. I then joined the white edges together and finished off with a verigated border. I delivered it to her in late June. She couldn’t talk at that time but mouthed “thank you” and “I love it.”  I read off the list of all who had contributed and both she and I are thankful to everyone who participated.  

It turned out to be 5 x 7 feet and consisted of 130 individual granny squares. I’m somewhat proud of myself and this accomplishment because I didn’t know what I was doing when I got started.  I also didn’t realize how much work it would be. I started to think about how much cross stitching I could be doing in that time off. 

In the end I realized that since I cannot visit her very often (she is a 5 hour drive away), this was my way of being there. 


Flu Shot PSA

I wish to implore everyone who has not had a flu shot to go to your doctor or a pharmacy and get one.

    My sister who was in perfect health 10 days ago and rarely gets sick, has contracted H1N1 influenza and is literally fighting for her life against this potentially deadly flu strain. She leads a healthy lifestyle (doesn’t smoke or drink), has no condition that would have reduced her immunity, and doesn’t work outside the home or come into contact with a lot of people. She recently had a perfect physical.

If it happened to her, it could happen to me or you or someone in your family who is also generally healthy. I don’t mean to be alarmist and I’m not looking for sympathy or attention… I just don’t want anyone else to deal with what my family is going through when it is easily preventable.

She did not get a flu shot this year and the doctors firmly believe that if she had, she might have still gotten sick but wouldn’t be in the ICU with a 50% chance of survival.  This strain of flu is included in this year’s flu shot. I know that vaccination is a personal choice but please consider this unthinkable consequence that my family is facing.

Ornament and TW Updates

HI…  Even though I’ve been quiet on the blog, I have been doing quite a bit of stitching!

Here is my progress through yesterday on my Teresa Wentzler Egyptian Sampler.  I think my husband, who I’m stitching this for is finally starting to get what goes into cross stitch!  I’ve been working on this, on and off, for about a year and a half.  I’m happy to say that I’m more than halfway through with a long way to go!  I’m happy to have finished the frame all the way around and the background in the arch.  A little tedious but not as bad as I thought it would be.  When I started doing the background I had to pull out the staff and the flail on the middle figure but it shouldn’t take much to add those back in now.  I’m loving stitching this!


I spend the week of Christmas with some family and kitted up a Victoria Sampler ornament from the 2015 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Edition to take with me.  When I travel I like to take something small.  There were some errors in the pattern as published, so for some of this I was just on my own.  Plus the accessory pack that I ordered had two different sized stars!  I contacted Thea at Victoria Sampler and she sent me the correct button size.  I love the little gingerbread man buttons!


So for now, I’m just going to keep on working on Egyptian Sampler and ignore all of my other WIPs.  I’d love to finish it up this year.  🙂


I had a lovely weekend last week with a group of internet friends that I “met” online way back in 1999.  Several i had met in person over the years, but over the weekend I met several in person for the first time…..  Wonderful, strong, smart, stitchy women.  

During the weekend activities, I made some decent progress on my Teresa Wentzler Egyptian Sampler.  I did mostly border work on the right side… long stretches of straight lines that required very little counting so that i didn’t have to concentrate too hard.  🙂  I might continue to finish the border outlines all the way around and then start to do the border fill work as I go.  

(Click to see a bigger pic)

I’m very happy to report that I’m blogging on my ipad.  I never thought that would be possible because even though the WordPress app is pretty good and easy to use, I don’t do too well with the virtual keyboard.  One of the things I saw last weekend was people using bluetooth keyboards to type on their ipads and although I knew these existed I never knew what to get or how well it would work.  I got the keyboard on Amazon (Prime) and I LOVE IT.  It was hard to turn down a purple keyboard that was half the price of the same model at Best Buy.

So, for now I’m out of town again for a week visiting my family in Ticonderoga, NY and experience the “Best Fourth in the North.”

Happy Fourth of July!

Ra Smiles Upon Me (Egyptian Sampler Update)

Here is my latest update on Teresa Wentzler’s Egyptian Sampler.  Its beautiful!  I love the colors and the subject matter.  I’m not really “into” Egyptian stuff, but my DH is so I’m doing this for him.  Since my last post, I’ve finished stitching and backstitching the border and the scarab, finished stitching the falcon (still needs backstitching) and started stitching Horus.  Please forgive the below par photos.   My camera battery is dead and I took these pictures in low lighting with my iphone.

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I’ve also recently finished the VS Pennsylvania Hearts of America.  I have one of these for every state I’ve lived in:  New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Indiana!  I lived for a summer in Denver during college, so I might try to find Colorado and do that one too.  I received mail there, so it counts, right?  I’ll do something with these someday…. when I’m sure I’ll not move again.

The story on the Pennsylvania one is a little bizarre!  I searched for the pattern on google and saw it offered for sale on Amazon.  I thought that was a little weird, but bought it anyway.   When I opened the kit to stitch, I found that the border was already partially stitched – about 15 stitches in the upper right hand corner!  I guess someone started it and didn’t like it and put it up on Amazon.  I finished it and here it is!

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I welcome all comments!

My Stitching Mojo is Back!!!

I haven’t done much stitching for the last couple of years.  One night, my fingers were feeling bored, so I picked up my Lizzie Kate Living with Charm Banner and reasoned that it was easy stitching and that I could finish the last three words pretty quickly.  So off I went and finished it!  This is the only larger project that I’ve finished in YEARS.  I am so excited to have it done and still love it!  I stitched this with all DMC and didn’t attach the little charms that come with the pattern.  If anyone would like the gently used booklets that include the charms, just e-mail me and i’ll put them in the mail for free.

Living with Charm

I was so motivated by a finish that I decided to pick up a Teresa Wentzler design!  I’m not a big fan of dragons, but I like most of her other designs.  My husband loves egyptian stuff, so I started Egyptian Sampler.  I had forgotten how much dreaded back stitching her designs have….  not my favorite thing.  The thing with TW is that when you get to the finished products, the back stitching is so worth it.  So…. here is my new start!

Egyptian Sampler

So shortly after starting this, I put my christmas tree up and realized that my husband needed an ornament like every other member of my family has.  This is based off Victoria Sampler “Humour” Virtues ornament that you can download for free on the Victoria Sampler website.  I stitched, finished, and put it on the tree last weekend.  I bet I’ve stitched at least 20 of these virtues ornaments over the years for friends and family.  I like how each one has a different design but all of the ornaments obviously look like part of a set, but each one has a different family member name instead of the virtue in the design.  So…. here is Will’s ornament photographed on the tree! The fabric is actually white, even though it doesn’t look it in this picture:

Will Ornament

So now that is done and I’m ready to get back to Egyptian Sampler!

1000 Origami Cranes

I got married on September 26 and had the idea that I should fold 1000 origami cranes to use as a backdrop to our ceremony and pictures.

The legend goes that the bride has to fold all 1000 of them to show the patience and commitment that a successful marriage requires. Cranes mate for life and are fabled to live for 1000 years. If the bride folds 1000 for her wedding she is granted one wish.

When I told my then fiancé about my idea, all he said was “that’s a lot…” I was undeterred by his lack of enthusiasm and started folding.  Note the tally sheet in the bottom of the pic!


So at the time I had 4 months until the wedding. Despite my full time job, I decided this was no problem! I began folding in all of my free time. My sister in law volunteered to help. Then she got another sister in law involved. A college friend also started folding too.


I went on a business trip In July and even folded at the airport! I did the initial folds so they wouldn’t get crushed in my bag, then finished the final folds when I got home! At this point I was starting to feel like even with my volunteers, I might not be able to finish.


I texted some local friends and planned an origami party at my house. I cooked dinner, served wine, supplied plenty of paper, and taught everyone how to fold. We ended up doing it again a few weeks later.  Roger, Claudia, and Amy showed up. We had a blast!!!


Finally all of the cranes were finished! The cranes filled a giant lawn sized trash bag to the brim. I was planning to string them all up and hang them at the wedding. I looked at this huge bag and felt overwhelmed. Not using them wasn’t an option after all of the time and effort of my friends. I dumped the bag onto a queen sized bed:


I started stinging on cotton thread. Each crane was separated by two beads to space them out. Each string was approximately 7 feet long. This actually went really fast compared to the folding.  Will (fiancé) and his sister both helped and we made pretty quick work of stringing them up. Here is a pic of them hanging in my closet… if you look closely you can see the beads between each crane:


Then I started thinking about how we were going to hang them. We were getting married in a banquet room of a historic hotel and they did not allow anything to be attached to the walls or ceiling…. Not even command strips! We had purchased a simple arch from a craft store but couldn’t think of how to attach the strings to create a “wall” of cranes. At this point I turned the rest of the project over to my fiancé and asked him to please make it happen. 🙂

So the day if the wedding, while I was sipping memosas and getting my nails done, my fiancé and best man constructed the arch, fully adorned with the cranes!!!! It was BEAUTIFUL!!! They did a wonderful job! As you can see, they used PVC pipe inserted through the arch to hold them all.


After the ceremony the best man rallied a group of guys and they moved the whole thing across the hall to the reception room.

At the end of the party, we cut down strings of cranes and gave them away to guests as they were leaving. I love the idea of people hanging them I their homes or on their Christmas trees.

I snapped this picture at a friend’s house:


Our wedding wasn’t elaborate and we didn’t kill our budget, but it was beautiful and I will never forget it. Not only because of the cranes, but because so many of our friends and families travelled from all over the country to be there together with us. Everyone got along, had fun, and several made side trips to local attractions over the remainder of the weekend.

Now that it’s all over I miss making the cranes. The repetition and enjoyment of seeing how all of the different paper patterns turned out in the form of a crane was fun and relaxing. Of course, I could keep on making them but seems pointless if they aren’t going to be used in any specific way. However, if there are any brides-to-be out there who need help with their cranes, email me and I would be happy to help!!